How does stress, anxiety & low self-esteem affect us physically?

February 16, 2020 5:48 pm Published by

Hormones are chemical messages from our brain to tell the rest of our body what to do next.  They work automatically, without us having to think about it, but the way we think affects how our hormones behave.

Cortisol is often referred to as our ‘stress hormone’ and we have cortisol receptors in virtually every cell in our body. When cortisol is balanced, it will help you wake up in the morning, regulate your blood pressure, reduce inflammation, help control blood pressure, fluid balance, memory and fertility.  So cortisol, like stress is a great protective mechanism.

We have evolved with a stress response system for our own survival when we are in danger, like running from a lion, but we are meant to return to balance when we are back to safety.  The body can then go back to its other body functions such as digestion, assimilation of nutrients, fertility and reproduction. 

  • Anger activates our stress response, which is our ‘fight or flight’ mechanism and increases cortisol.
  • Fear activates inflammation and partially shuts our system off to promote recovery.
  • Both anger and fear affect our blood pressure. 
  • Negative self esteem and suppressing our emotions, affects our physiological response to anger, which has an impact on our ability to cope, also giving us a higher risk to cardiovascular problems.
  • The body responds to criticism and personal judgments by switching to anxiety mode, affecting our posture, heart rate, muscle tension, digestion and hormonal activity.  

So the effects of long term, chronic stress, puts enormous pressure on our body and leads to health issues like:- 

  • Fatigue & brain fog
  • Insomnia 
  • Hormone imbalance & weight gain
  • Infections
  • Inflammation
  • Insulin resistance
  • Food sensitivities
  • Thyroid problems
  • Autoimmunity 

How to come back into balance

1. Listen to your body

Seek healing for trauma, our mind is where we create meanings and form beliefs, which start in childhood. Behaviour arises from these beliefs and are adapted through life into adulthood. Are we repeating a pattern created from our childhood ego?

I work closely with and highly recommend Nicola Menage, a hypnotherapist, NLP practitioner and brilliant motivational mindset coach, who has helped me and my patients on an emotional level to take back responsibility for our lives.

2.    Self awareness

Develop an intentional connection with our body, learn to accept, trust, breath and develop a healthy communication with ourselves.  Physical, mental, emotional and spiritual all contribute to our health.

I would like to introduce you to Carole Love, a transformation therapist, using Sound Healing, Health Kinesiology and Biofeedback Resonance.  I have been to many of her extraordinary group Gong Baths and one to one sessions with incredible results. 

3.    Herbs to balance our hormones

To calm the stress response and help balance the HPA axis, which is the connection and communication between your brain your digestion and your hormone system. Herbs and supplements can support us while we work on emotional balance which is vital for our recovery.  They also help our resilience and balance our pain response.  

4.   Choose the right food for you

Remove processed foods without nutrients, be mindful of emotional eating. Look at your digestion and choose a diverse diet of nourishing, colourful, organic and delicious food.   I use whole food as medicine, Food State Supplements, Ayurvedic principals, herbs and lifestyle changes to help you take back the power to improve your own health, contact me on


Our body is amazingly intelligent, it knows what is best for us.  If you can tune in and listen to what it is telling you, be gentle with yourself…. Anxiety and low self esteem might just be a protective mechanism?

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